- Annual Survey: A Look at Residential School Placement Patterns for Students from Deaf- and Hearing-Parented Families: A Ten-Year Perspective
- American Annals of the Deaf
- Gallaudet University Press
- Volume 142, Number 2, April 1997
- pp. 107-114
- View Citation
- Additional Information
Annual Survey A Look at Residential School Placement Patterns for Students from Deaf- and Hearing-Parented Families: A Ten-Year Perspective Lisa Holden-Pitt holden-pltt is a research scientist at the Gallaudet Research Institute. The Annual Survey of Deaf and Hardof -Hearing Children and Youth (Annual Survey), now in its 30th year, seeks responses from schools in the United States known to serve deaf and hard-of-hearing students. It covers about 60% of the deaf and hardof -hearing, school-aged children identified by the U.S. Department of Education child counts (Allen, 1992). The nearly 50,000 cases in each Annual Survey permit the study of a wide variety of demographic, education , and communication related characteristics for various survey constituents . Frequency counts and crosstabulations for an extensive set of Annual Survey items are available through the Gallaudet Research Institute's web site, http:// gri.gallaudet.edu. Toward the primary focus of this study, a relatively small slice of Annual Survey data will be explored. Isolating the influence of parents' hearing status upon students ' patterns of school placement could illuminate programmatic considerations for fostering the social and cultural development of deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Deaf children of hearing parents far outnumber deaf children of deaf and hard-of-hearing parents (an imbalance also reflected in the Annual Survey database). Consequently, reference to univariate statistics that describe school placement patterns for deaf children as a whole could obscure or misrepresent placement patterns of a relatively small subgroup, such as deaf children of deaf parents. Failure to detect heterogeneity among subgroups could promote false claims and misguided policies. Since a proportionally small subgroup does not necessarily imply a practical insignificance to that subgroup's response patterns, it can be important to specifically address such situations. Cross-tabulated descriptive statistics provide a more realistic picture of findings for disproportionate subgroups of a survey population. Just such an approach is dictated for examining school placement patterns in this study. Of course, causality between parents ' hearing status and child's school placement should not be assumed conclusive, given that any combination of examined or external factors might produce the observed covariances . However, it is conceptually interesting to pursue the possibility that the parents' hearing status might influence the child's school placement , which is largely a matter of choiceÂ—perhaps more so today than a decade ago. Schildroth and Hotto (199D indicated that 67% of the deaf and hardof -hearing students reported through the 1990 Annual Survey attended local , regular education schools with hearing students. The 1996 Annual Survey shows further increase in this figure (now 71%)Â—which seems to reflect further expansion of local school programs. This apparent increase may be the result of a broadening constituency of local programs participating in the Annual Survey (a sampling issue), rather than a change in placement trend from residential schools for deaf students toward local, regular education facilities. From 1979 to 1985, the Annual Survey indicated a 23% drop in residential school placement , coincident with a 16% increase in matriculation through local, regular education facilities (Schildroth, 1988). The Annual Survey reflects an additional 5% reduction in residential school placement between 1986 and 1996. Given what appears to be a progressive shift toward mainstreaming deaf and hard-of-hearing students in local, regular education facilities, it is important to determine whether the data suggest this shift is uniform across student subgroups; an exception to the general trend could be regarded as a significant anomaly. (Note that programs commonly referred to as "mainstream " vary in the amount of academic integration of deaf or hard-ofhearing with hearing students.) Given the increasing educational opportunities for deaf and hard-ofhearing students resulting from legislative acts over the past several years, Volume 142, No. 2 American Annals of the Deaf Table 1 Number and Percentage Distribution of Annual Survey Students by Age and Severity of Hearing Loss Data were missing for either or both variables in 2,104 (4%) of the 1986 cases, and 2,650 (5%) of the 1996 cases. Cases in the shaded areas are examined in this study. Column percentages do not always sum to 100 due to rounding errors. Source: Annual Survey of Deaf...